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Nigeria to get Gavi-supported COVID-19 vaccine – Health Minister

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The Federal Government of Nigeria says it is working with global health and research organisations developing COVID-19 vaccines to get a part of the COVAX Facility and Gavi-supported 2 billion vaccine doses as soon as they are available.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this on Thursday during the weekly briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

According to him, Nigeria is also working with the World Health Organisation to finalise enrolment with the “ACT – Access To COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, a global mechanism tracking and sponsoring global organisations working on COVID-19 vaccine development.

“We also have an interest in the COVAX Facility, which is a Gavi-supported initiative to procure and assure equitable access to vaccines as soon as they are available, especially for lower-income countries.

“This will prioritise Nigeria for allocation of a part of 2 billion vaccine doses that will be secured in a special plan to protect the interest of poorer countries.”

It may be recalled that earlier in August, Pfizer, a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, assured that Nigeria will remain a priority country in its plans for the supply of viable COVID-19 vaccines to Africa.

Pfizer Country Manager and Representative in Africa, Subair Olayinka, said this during a virtual meeting between representatives of the BNT162 COVID-19 vaccine candidate and Vice President Yemi Osibajo, to discuss the progress of vaccine development around the world, including Africa.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had said the Federal Government would examine every possible option available in the development and distribution of a vaccine against the COVID-19 pandemic.

He noted that the interaction between the Federal Government and the promoters of the vaccine candidate is important and essential especially in the face of the pandemic, adding that the health and safety of every Nigerian remains a priority.

During the meeting, Ehanire said the Federal Government would consider quality, appropriate volume, how well and quickly a vaccine can be delivered to Nigerians in deciding which manufacturer to make the supply.

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